NAME: Mike Harmon A.K.A. "NECKBONE"
LOCATION: Delaware County ,Pa.
Growing up in So.Cal. greatly influenced my style of art. I was always impressed with the realism of airbrushing. As a wee young lad ,I would stop at the car dealer up the street just to see the realistic airbrush mural's on the vans ( Yeah, they actually sold vans at the dealership with hand painted mural's back in the 70's and early 80's California). with art work so real and edgy I was almost afraid to get to close for fear of being cut by the viking sword or bit by one of the polar bears pulling his sled. Those images ,still burned into my head, along with curiosity for tattoos defined the style of art I would begin to replicate and later create.
After a few years in the USN and government contracting , I would rather slave another way. So in 1996 I opened SO.CAL. AIRBRUSH & DESIGN. A T-shirt shop located in Virginia Beach , Va. And later joined by my brother/partner , We quickly expanded into 3 locations from the ocean resort to the mall and to a flea market shop.
In 2000 with my brother now pursuing his degree in graphic design , My wife and daughter moved to Delaware County ,Pa. (Philly area) , Where I began to get more serious about custom airbrushing on cars and motorcycle's and occasionally earn a trophy for my client at a show.
But my true passion has always been tattooing. That exposure to tattooed people and the life style is the earliest recollection of art I was really drawn to. At that time temporary tattoos were a Cracker Jack trinket , which I prayed for every time I was lucky enough to get into a box. My only problem was they weren't bigger or enough to fill my arms up. So naturally , as soon as I was old enough to get a real parlor tattoo my dad ,with very little convincing, Took me to Berdoo Tattoo for my first piece of ink , I was 15. In those days that was really rare for a kid to have a quality , professional piece poked the right way , not your buddies thread and needle with a boosted bottle of india ink from the school art class. The first time I tried my hand at applying a tattoo was with a friend off my boat. He purchased a very used tattoo kit and was goin to town on himself . So having access to equipment now , I traded him a couple drawings to add to his collection for use of his scarification tools . Needless to say the piece left a lot to be desired and I decided for the good of humanity I shouldn't hook any body up with jack hammer ink and tattoo shops were illegal in Virginia at that time (that was about 1991).
During the off season of airbrushing T-shirts I would hustle any freelance airbrush work I could find. I ended up providing some sign work to a local Mexican restaraunte . These guys liked my airbrushing so much , they finally pressured me into tattooing on them , well aware of quality of tattooing to expect from the display of my black blob scar. I payed for a kit and had another crack at it. Again using myself as the pig , I was surprised at well that next piece came out (compared to the first one years earlier). Because of the legality of tattoo shops , when airbrush season picked back up I traded off the kit and got back to T-shirts. But again after moving to Pa. I was peer pressured into tattooing by my new friends. I think because my original art works have always had a tattoo design look to them , people usually assume you will be good at tattooing. This time though , I would hold to my machines and leave my indelible mark.
If you are reading this , then I would guess you don't have much to do right now, HA!HA!
Thanx , Mike a.k.a."NECKBONE"